Former Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani (retired) passed away on Wednesday in New Delhi. His son, Tarun Tahiliani, is a noted fashion designer
Born on 12 May 1930, Tahiliani was commissioned in the Navy on September 1, 1950 and served as the 11th Chief of Naval Staff from December 1,1984 to November 30, 1987.
A distinguished graduate of the French Test Pilot School and an outstanding pilot, he was the first to land on the deck of INS Vikrant on a Hawker Sea Hawk fighter jet on May 18, 1961, ushering carrier-based aviation into the Indian Navy.
“The Admiral had commanded the carrier-borne squadron INAS 300 during the Indo – Pak war in 1971. His career included command of INS Trishul and the Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant. The “Greyest of the Grey Eagles” is an apt expression to describe Admiral Tahiliani’s vast experience as a stupendous naval aviator. His vision, catapulted the Naval Air Arm to where it is today. He was instrumental in the procurement of the second aircraft carrier INS Viraat along with its fighter complement of Sea Harrier aircraft,” said a statement by the Press Information Bureau.
In December 1977, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral and appointed as the Flag Officer, Goa Area. Later, he was appointed the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet (FOCWF). In 1982, he was appointed as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-IN-C), Southern Naval Command. In March 83, he was appointed Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command and subsequently as the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff in ‘84.